World News

EU gives more food aid due to soaring world prices

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - The European Commission will give a further 117.25 million euros (93.2 million pounds) in food aid to lessen the impact of rising food prices on the world’s most vulnerable people, it said on Tuesday.

“In March, we already decided to put aside 160 million euros in food aid,” EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

“We decided to free up 57 million euros more that had been budgeted for 2008 but it will be available much earlier in the year. We’ll be mobilising 60 million euros of fresh money.”

The rise in basic food prices was a worldwide humanitarian disaster in the making, he said, adding that existing food aid programmes were under enormous pressure with less food available for people already on the brink of starvation.

Millions more, who were just about coping before, now risk going hungry, he told the EU assembly.

The Commission’s latest food aid provision would raise the EU’s total humanitarian food aid budget so far in 2008 to 283.25 million euros, Michel said.

Writing by Jeremy Smith; Editing by Dale Hudson